Santa Monica noir, or Nighttime at the heister's hideaway
1) Most evocative Raymond Chandler destination: A tie between Laurel Canyon and the Baldwin Hills oilfields. Or maybe the "Lido" Pier.
2) Best place to eat: The Astro Burger at Melrose and Gower.
3) Most heartening blend of artifacts, history, pop culture, and cultural sensitivity in a museum exhibition: "Junípero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions" at the Huntington. This exhibit on the life and work of the Spanish missionary who worked in Mexico on his way to setting up the mission system in California offers the basics about Serra's fascinating life. The man was one hell of a traveller, among other things. It also offers entertaining examples of the cultural kitsch that ensued once the missions caught the popular imagination, as well as a section on the California Indian tribes among whom Serra evangelized. Traditional history, pop culture, and cultural diversity co-exist in a harmony almost unimaginable amid the shrill, deafening, witless clamor that passes for cultural discourse in America.
This is the motel/motor court off the Pacific Coast Highway where I'd hole up if I were a desperate man on the run for something he didn't do. Lush scenery. Cabins set back from the Pacific Coast Highway. I bet heisters waiting for the heat to cool down or for their new faces to heal have the place booked years in advance.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013